OCC gets anonymous $1M donation

Orange Coast College plans to use a $1-million donation to fund the development of an Astronomy Village in the college's science quad area, OCC spokesman Doug Bennett announced Wednesday.

The money was provided by a donor, who lives in Orange County and has donated to the college previously, but wishes to remain anonymous, Bennett said.

The donation will fund fixed telescopes for research, an Astronomy Students and Visiting Scholars Conference Center that the college plans to open by fall 2015 and a mirror grinding and optics lab, which will allow students to make their own telescopes.

Fixed telescopes will also be installed in the lab for solar, day and night viewing, according to a news release.

Two larger telescopes, one solar and one night, will be reserved for student and faculty research and will be equipped to send images directly to the dome of the new planetarium, which the college will break ground on in 2015 and will complete by 2017.

OCC has been working to improve facilities, especially those related to science. In the past several years, the college remodeled the Lewis Applied Science Building, which houses science classrooms and labs and built the Allied Health, Biology and Consumer Science Complex. 

"This is an exceptionally generous gift and will directly benefit students and provide direct access to large telescopes for the public," astronomy professor Nick Contopoulos said in a news release.

— Hannah Fry


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